Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) attended a breakfast reception and special session of the Los Angeles City Council at which this year’s Armenian Genocide remembrance resolution was presented. The event was hosted by the Los Angeles City Council, led by City Council Member Eric Garcetti (District 13). Attending the event on behalf of the ANCA-WR were Board Members Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian and Steve Dadaian. They were joined by ANCA-WR Executive Director, Andrew Kzirian who delivered remarks to those assembled on the occasion.
Kzirian noted the role played by the City of Los Angeles in setting an example for city, state and federal officials all across the country. “The themes mentioned by Mayor Villaraigosa and the other speakers today pertain to denial and the moral authority to condemn genocide,” said Kzirian. “With the recent cosponsorship of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), we see that the leadership demonstrated by the Mayor of Los Angeles and the City Council in recognizing the Armenian Genocide resonates with the rest of the country,” he added.
During the morning breakfast reception, Council Members Dennis Zine (District 3) and Wendy Greuel (District 2) noted the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide. He was joined in his remarks by City Council Member Bill Rosenthal (District 11) who noted the link between appropriately addressing the Armenian Genocide and confronting the genocide in Darfur today.
Mayor Pro Tem of Rolling Hills Estates Frank Zerunyan, an Armenian American born in Turkey, shared his personal perspective on the need to continue to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and learn from the lessons of this crime against humanity. Additionally, Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian attended the event on behalf of the recently established Yerevan-Los Angeles Sister City Association. The breakfast was opened by a prayer led by Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and the morning’s reception was closed with a benediction led by Father Muron Aznikian from the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church’s Prelacy of the Western United States.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed the community during the presentation ceremony. Recalling the assassination of Hrant Dink earlier this year, Villaraigosa said that the murder was “an attempt to instill fear and apprehension in the hearts of all those who treasure freedom and truth.” He commended Dink for his courage to speak, as an ethnic Armenian citizen of Turkey, about the Armenian Genocide and refer to it as such.
Referring to H.Res.106 and S.Res.106, Villaraigosa noted that “the City of Los Angeles has been on record for years about the Armenian Genocide and it’s about time the federal government did the same.”
The Los Angeles city officials were joined by CA State Assembly Member Paul Krekorian (D-43), who thanked the City Council for commemorating the Armenian Genocide. Earlier this month, Assemblymember Krekorian and his fellow CA state legislators joined in commemorating the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the State Capitol.
Earlier in the week, ANCA-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian joined Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Michael Antonovich who presented the Los Angeles Armenian community with a proclamation signed by the Board of Supervisors commemorating the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In his remarks, Antonovich reiterated the need to remember the Armenian Genocide and honor its victims.
In thanking the Board of Supervisors and addressing the gallery, Hovsepian noted appreciation of the Armenian community that found refuge in Los Angeles a century ago following the genocide and noted the Los Angeles Armenian community’s commitment to assuring that there is recognition and justice genocide.
“As victims of genocide we feel a particular sense of responsibility to ensure that the memory of the Armenian Genocide is preserved,” said Hovsepian. “Knowing our past helps ensure that we, as Americans, have the moral clarity and sense of purpose to continue to confront genocide and its denial.”
The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
PHOTO CAPTION: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (center) joined by (from left to right), Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Yardemian, Vicar General (pokhanort) of the Western Diocese, Rev. Fr. Manuk Markarian, pastor of St. John’s Armenian Church of Hollywood, ANCA-WR Board Member Steve Dadaian, State Assemblymember Paul Krekorian (D-43), His Excellency, Consulate General Mr. Armen Liloyan, Chairman of the Armenian Bar Association and Mayor Pro-Tem of Rolling Hills Estates, Frank Zerunyan, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis P. Zine (District 3), His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Los Angeles City Councilmember and President Pro Tempore Wendy Greuel (District 2), Los Angeles and Yerevan Sister City Association Chairwoman Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian, Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Chairman of the Religious Council of the Western Prelacy, and ANCA-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian.